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1996 Lexus ES 300 Long-Term Road Test Posts: 10,059
edited September 2014 in Lexus


  • duck87duck87 Posts: 649
    Thanks for the 1 year journey, Ron (and ES). It was an interesting exercise, even if some events were controversial, and it was a bit astounding to see you were able to perform some mechanical work on the car! Hopefully this car will be able to provide another decade or two of reliable service before riding off into the sunset.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    "I also learned how helpful message boards can be in troubleshooting issues."

    You learned this in the past year?
  • eric_leric_l Posts: 7
    By far the best long term vehicle ever to grace the Edmunds fleet. While most of the long term reviews lend little more than to reinforce how terrific brand new cars are (and how troublefree they are while under warranty, provided one pays the asking price for dealership maintenance), the ES test highlighted some of the more unexamined aspects of vehicle ownership, such as prioritizing vehicle repairs (not an issue when every other long termer is just a dealer warranty service away), managing expectations for an older vehicle, and appreciating reliable transportation for its significance in the real world rather than how much fuel you can charge on the corporate card after doing burnouts and canyon drives just for fun. I hope Edmunds picks up another reliable beater for a similar test.
  • I am really confused, or really dense... You're posting in 2013 that you've sold your 17 year old Lexus that you kept for a year and put 18,000 miles on? What has it been doing for the last 16 years? Is this an old post revisited?
  • bassracerxbassracerx Posts: 188
    used bmw m3 good idea or nightmare waiting to happen?
  • bassracerxbassracerx Posts: 188
    @shadow they purchased the vehicle at the end of 2011
  • Great choice - have really enjoyed reading about life with this car. As I mentioned in one of the updates, there a tons of JDM versions here on US military bases in Japan - all running with lots of kms.....

    For your next cheap wheels, I vote for a mid-90s Volvo - perhaps the 850 Wagon that was in every suburb during that decade - if you can find an 850 R, so much the better.....
  • I'm glad you sold it to an employee, who will most likely be taking good care of it. If you're looking for something similar, another Toyota or Honda product would be interesting to me.
  • How about getting a car that would represent something a high school or college student might pick as their first car. I have been considering something for my daughter that is reliable, safe, efficient and less than $5000.
  • With the demise of Inside Line, I would rather see the "old car" long term tests go away, with the exception of your project cars. Those blogs are pretty good. I agree that this Lexus long-termer produced a great deal of comment volume, mostly in disagreement on how much should be spent on repairs, and what should be a DIY job. You had a frustrating set of vacuum hose leaks. You bought new tires that everyone hated. You dared to take the car on long trips. It was a great piece, and thanks for putting up with the (minor) abuse I and other readers gave you. And it inspired me to ditch the old Intrepid last month after 19 years ( a car that appeared near the ending days of "Readers Rides"). Thanks for taking on this kind of story. I look forward to the wrap-up.
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,940
    @shadow101 - they bought it used a year ago.
  • minereminere Posts: 2
    This long term test was great entertainment, and closer to reality for many of us than your tests if shiny new models.

    Please do another similar test. Suggestions:

    Keep the test car for several years so we see how problems/cost even out.

    Put more effort into the search and selection process. You could have done better if you had spent more time hunting for a well kept ES. Buy privately, avoid used car dealers.

    Have someone skilled look at the car before you buy it.

    Put some more money into a preventive maintenance (hoses!)

    Consider a newer car than 16 years. 8? 12?

    For our entertainment, how about a Mercedes E-class, a Lexus LS or something similar as part if the charm buying old is that you can get a grand ride for a low price.
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